Forward Bends for Flexible People

Today's post is for intermediate/advanced students that are comfortable in their back, shoulders, and hamstrings. This post is not for the timid. I'm not going all contortionist on you - I can't do most of the craziest forward bends, but I know some modifications if basic forward bends are getting boring for you.

This sequence is NOT for just anyone. Don't try this sequence without speaking to your Dr. first if you have any medical/physical problems and/or do not already have a comfortable capable intermediate level yoga practice. Seek Peace At Your Own Risk!

Warm Up First.

Yep, that's a forward bend.

Elbows out to the side, side body long, shoulders back.
Clasped hands or holding a wrist around the feet are further options.

One 4 inch cork block.

Two 4 inch thick cork blocks. Don't hurt yourself.

I wouldn't suggest doing the last couple very often. In fact, maybe just don't do them at all. I generally don't. It's just a little something I know I can do. If you're more comfortable in your forward bends than I am - maybe do them once a week.

Have questions about these modifications? Did this post only confuse you? Send me your questions and I'll always do my best to answer them.


jon said...

I stumbled upon this page googling "forward bend" and it's a perfect example. I've always wanted to be able to do this, bend right in half, but I'm 30, never was very flexible, and I feel like I'm too far gone. I have done tris and half marathons and stretched just enough to do well without injury, but now I have very little time and I don't stretch consistently, and my hamstrings are usually very tight. A forward bend at the hips only gets me to about 90 degrees before I have to bend at the waist. What can I do to eventually achieve this kind of ability?

April said...

Hi Jon -

I'm glad you asked because I can totally help you out. Your situation - 30, active, inflexible - is common and not as dire as you seem to feel.

Here are links to 2 posts I did back in August. One is for modifications to make forward bends accessible for you while still allowing you to get something out of them and see gradual improvement. The other is a short sequence of hip openers that should help immensely as well. Start there. Be sure to practice your forward bends and hip openers at least a few minutes every day and you should be able to see great improvement over time. Forward bends and flexibility are just like anything else. You didn't just DO tris and half marathons - you had to train for them first.

Let me know what you think of these - feel free to ask questions. I'm always around.


Jon said...